The Imps marketing department has announced two more retro kits today, and they look to be absolutely crackers.
Without seeing them in the flesh, it is hard to say how good they are, but they certainly look to be following on from the success of last year’s releases. They are priced at £34.99, and will be available from the club shop as you read this, having dropped at midday.
First up, the home kit from 1992/93. This style of kit was used two years in a row, firstly with Flindalls as the sponsor and perhaps more iconically, with the Echo on the front. The club has released the Echo version, from Steve Thompson’s finals season in charge of the club before he handed the reigns over to Keith Alexander.
Synonymous with Jason Lee, David Puttnam and Tony Lormor, it is a classic thick red and white stripe with what was a contemporary shoulder design. The collar is a personal favourite of mine, three-button and stylish. I really like this shirt, it was the second home shirt I ever owned and it used to scream quality. They’ve recreated the badge faithfully too, a simplistic take on the Imp and the club name, and from the images it also looks to boast the swirly design in the fabric. The success of these retro shirts is based on how faithful they are to the originals they aim to recreate and this one looks very, very good.
Secondly, the club have dipped their toe into the away shirt market and picked the 96/97 shirt, perhaps most famous for the Coca Cola Cup run, and that draw at The Dell against Premier League Southampton. I was surprised in the away shirt World Cup that this didn’t do better, it was certainly popular at the time and I strongly suspect it will appeal to fans who were around when it first dropped in the nineties.
Again, the picture indicates the detailing in the fabric, which in 96/97 was the Imps and the words ‘the Imps’ underneath. The royal blue and yellow contrasted sharply, meaning this wasn’t a kit like any other club’s home, which some yellow and blue ones have resembled in the past. It also carried the sponsor of the now-defunct Sports Echo, a classic publication that will itself invoke feelings of nostalgia. Again, the collar is a button up, similar to the 92/93 shirt.
could it even be that this shirt betters the original? One aspect I never liked was the foam badge and sponsor that came off after a few washes (unless you preserved it like someone did the one below before I snaffled it!), and it appears the retro one may have that as part of the fabric. If that’s the case it could be like Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt, or Mrs Robinson by the Lemonheads – a new version that is better than the original.
Both kits will be on a limited run, and are likely to move quickly. Last season’s were the same, and as far as I’m aware the GMVC 87/88 shirt sold out very quickly, with the 83/85 one following suit. In recent years, retro kits have become big business, as have shirts in general. Once upon a time, an old football shirt would be used for painting and decorating or gardening, but now they have become something to be cherished, discussed and debated. I wonder how many of you painted your lounge in one of these beauties, and might just be tempted to grab a spanking new one very soon?
I shall be reviewing both of these shirts, in the flesh, as soon as I can get my hands on them.
Check out the club shop for more details, but do be quick….